NapaLearns Virtual Career Academy Expert Coaches
NapaLearns is thrilled to have a team of experienced instructors who will share their expertise with the participants in our program.
With more than 20 years in the wine industry, Craig is a Napa Valley native who loves technology and innovation. He has more than twelve years’ experience working within database management systems and more than six years’ experience in search engine optimization and social media platform management.
Craig works at VinSuite, one of the largest winery solution providers in Napa Valley, where he is responsible for technical support and training, and project management of software and hardware rollouts of newly acquired clients. He is currently augmenting his skills by taking classes in computer science at NVC.
When he’s not helping the wine industry evolve, you can find him with his family, helping his nephews build computers, camping, or watching sports.
John Paul “JP” Castillo comes with 6 plus years as a 3D environment artist in the video game industry. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Visual Media from Ex’pression College and a Master’s Degree in Innovative Education from Touro University. JP is also Vintage High School’s Career Tech Ed instructor for Digital Media. In the classroom, JP enjoys not only sharing his love for video games, anime, movies, and music with his students but the hows and why it all looks so cool through teaching digital design and videography.
Travis Eliason is a New Technology High School First year Graduate. Diving right into the workforce, he was employed by Queen of the Valley Hospital where he was a Helpdesk support technician/Telecom manager. He used these skills to have a long career in the Healthcare IT industry. His career has spanned over twenty years working with John Muir, Sutter, and St Joseph Health Systems while currently working for California Veterans Affairs Yountville Hospital.
Weaving through roles as a technician, project manager, telecommunications expert, infrastructure engineer, and software subject-matter expert, Travis still believes that technology is only half of any IT position. The other half is strong customer focus and working with empathy.
Lisa Gottfried has been teaching Digital Design for the last 7 years. Previously, she owned her own video and motion graphics company in the Napa Valley. Since she started her teaching career, she has been recognized by HundrED as a top 100 Global Innovator in Education for the last three years.
Lisa has also been a member of the Adobe Education Leader group, an international organization of top educators in the Adobe space. She has been invited to work for Adobe, twice as a short term intern, as a consultant, and as a presenter of her work in the classroom. Her absolute favorite Adobe tool is “content aware fill” with the “clone stamp tool” coming in a close second.
Lisa is an adjunct professor for Touro University in the Innovative Education Master’s program and was the NapaLearns Fellow of the Year for 2019.
Claudette earned an Associate of Arts degree in Wine and Sales Marketing from Napa Valley College, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications at California State University, Sacramento, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix.
She has taught Business Marketing at Napa Valley College since 2015 and has served as a Business Advisor for the Napa Small Business Development Center since 2016. Previously, she worked at V. Sattui Winery from 2000 to 2016. She served in a variety of roles at V. Sattui Winery, including Vice President of Marketing and Sales, from 2007 to 2016.
In addition, Claudette has attended specialized trainings of the Small Business/Entrepreneurship sector through the “Doing What Matters for Jobs and Economy” initiative of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.
When not teaching Business & Marketing at Napa Valley College, you can find her in an elementary classroom teaching the Entrepreneur Mindset to 5th graders. Her recent passion project is teaching Leadership to first graders. She is a classic type A, life-long over-achiever, and is dedicated to serving her community.
Gary Strommen earned his A.S. Degree in Digital Design Graphics Technology (DDGT) from Napa Valley College and his B.A. Degree in 3D Modeling from Cogswell Polytechnical College of San Jose.
He has worked in the local industry as a contractor since 2000 working on a variety of projects including: mechanical design, 3d animation, digital graphics, web-design, video editing and production, CAD network installation and maintenance, 3d printing, 3d scanning, and more.
Gary has been teaching at Napa Valley College since 2008 instructing in the two year DDGT program, teaching students how to use Autodesk and Adobe programs (AutoCAD, Inventor, 3ds Max, Fusion 360, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Premiere, and After Effects). He has incorporated into the DDGT program advanced technologies including: 3d printing, 3d scanning, and augmented reality.
Gary has a beautiful family with a wife and two children. Personal interests outside computers include: power-lifting, gardening, and aquariums.
We are committed to helping every participant be successful in completing the courses we are offering.
As Director of Student Services, Michele is the Learning Success Coach for the NapaLearns Virtual Career Academy. She is the main contact to help students with the logistics of the program, beginning with the application process through the course and the exam, if applicable.
Michele is passionate about education and setting students up to thrive. Her background is in STEM (chemistry) and she has worked with students from preschool to high school at Scientopia and the Boys and Girls Club of Napa Valley. She has volunteered with 4-H, several Napa schools/school clubs, fundraising, and Friends of Napa County Animal Shelter.
Michele has 3 children with her husband of 27 years, and loves to garden and tend to her animals (1 dog, 2 cats, 2 rabbits, and 10 chickens.)
As Executive Director, Peg Maddocks, Ph.D., is responsible for advancing NapaLearns’ innovative programs to improve the educational outcomes of students in public schools throughout Napa County. While Maddocks has spent most of her career in private sector leadership positions, she began her professional life as a teacher, principal and program director in a K-12 public school district.
After working for Cisco Systems for over 14 years, Maddocks served as CEO of Maddocks Learning, a consulting practice focused on accelerating educational change through the redesign of teaching and learning to enable successful integration of technology. Maddocks holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Early Childhood Education/Special Education, a Master’s of Education in School Administration from Rhode Island College, as well as a Ph.D. in Instructional Psychology from Michigan State University.
As Director of Innovation, Mario coordinates program design, implementation, and support for all NapaLearns programs. He also supports Napa County districts and schools with the integration and evaluation of new and innovative tools that support the next generation of teaching and learning in Napa.
As a digital native and multimedia enthusiast Mario is passionate about technology integration as a means to redefine learning opportunities for students and leaders. Before working at NapaLearns, Mario worked in the San Francisco Unified School District’s Curriculum and Instruction Division as an Educational Technologist and Learning Systems Coordinator. Prior to working in San Francisco, he served as Site Technology Coordinator at Napa Valley Language Academy, a dual immersion charter school.